So, let’s get creative

At the beginning of this week, the IPCC issued its latest report on climate change. There is now overwhelming scientific evidence that human beings are having a significant effect on the earth’s climate as a result of various greenhouse gasses. We can all expect the effects to become more noticeable over time. What are we to do? The key is reducing our use of fossil fuels (and thus greenhouse gas emissions) and this is something that we can all contribute to.

Chris Field, co-chair of the IPCC working group says this:

We definitely face challenges, but understanding those challenges and tackling them creatively can make climate-change adaptation an important way to help build a more vibrant world in the near-term and beyond.

And that’s what we need to do, to be creative and to understand that we can each take a little bit of responsibility and make a difference. Over the nearly two years that I have been writing this blog, I’ve discussed all sorts of small steps that I (and others) have taken to lead a life that is a little bit greener and, therefore, contributes a little bit less to climate change and destruction of the planet in other ways.

So, I thought that now would be a good time to list some of the creative things that I’ve been doing that help…

First, in our house, we try to mend things rather than throwing them away as soon as something goes wrong. So, this is our solar-powered wind-up radio in its current (much repaired) incarnation:

Solar, wind-up radio in its latest incarnation... still going strong

Our eco-radio

And (much as I dislike it) I do darn things:

And the finished job... not too bad and it should last a while longer

Darned slipper sock

Recently, the base plate on our old Dyson vacuum clearer broke, but we managed to get a replacement secondhand one, so that should survive a bit longer:

Mr Snail attaching the new base plate onto our original DC01

Mr Snail attaching the new base plate onto our original DC01

Second, we try to cut down our food miles by growing our own (remember we only have a little garden behind a modern bungalow):

Some of the outputs

All from our garden

and by buying from local producers like:

All produce comes from the farm

Blaen Camel farm shop

A busy market day

Lampeter people’s market

Beautiful restoration inside the mill

The local water mill

And preserving food so that we don’t waste any surplus:

Potted up and coolng

Storing the apple harvest

We have reduced our use of petrochemicals and fossil fuels by using products that contain natural ingredients:

No need to think about shampoo for a while now

Buying natural and in bulk

Increasing our use of renewables:

Our solar panels

Our solar panels

A roaring success for boiling water!

Boiling water using wood from our willow hedge

Cutting down on the heating bills:

Curtains on a track or rail

Curtains provide good insulation

I love the colours in this yarn

Stylish ways to keep warm

Fingerless mittens in action

Fingerless mittens in action for warm hands

And reducing our use of plastics:

The finished bag

Homemade cotton shopping bag from scrap fabric

We’ve also enjoyed some repurposing:

Esme emerging from the 'woodland' laying box

An old cat litter tray now used as a laying box

Potatoes growing in old dumpy bags

Potatoes growing in old dumpy bags

Five varieties of Capsicums sown

Toilet roll middles as biodegradable pots

Curtains will probably be a more stylish option for insulation!

Curtains would probably be a more stylish option for insulation, but oven mitts did the trick temporarily!

And just, generally getting creative with waste:

Hexipuffs for a quilt... made from sock wool oddments

Hexipuffs for a quilt… made from sock wool oddments

A camping toilet, for discreet and civilised nitrogen collection.

A camping toilet, for discreet and civilised nitrogen collection

Apple scraps, fermenting naturally as you can see from the bubbles on the surface

Apple scraps, fermenting naturally to make vinegar

And, of course, sharing

The route to so many interesting people.

… by blogging…

... but what is my teaching worth?

… teaching…

Brooklyn Blackout Cake - too fiddly to make every day!

… and, of course, over coffee and cake…

Leave a comment


  1. Ooh, I wish I’d thought of using loo roll holders for seedlings. That’s genius! I’m definitely stealing that idea.


  2. That toilet paper roll thing is brilliant! 😀 We also fix things rather than replacing. We also just don’t use some things that other people find commonplace…like a vacuum cleaner (we just sweep the carpets with a broom) or hair dryer. Thanks for sharing all of the awesome ideas you use!


  3. Reblogged this on Green Lizard's Blog and commented:
    This post has many great ideas all in one place. Very inspiring!


  4. This post explains well why I’m one of your followers… 😉 I’m shamelessly sharing your writing on my FB pages 😀


  5. I was sad when I saw the news confirming what we’ve known for ages but then I was happy to read your post. So I reblogged it. Lovely ideas! And great that people are doing their bit!


  6. This post is almost as delicious as that cake! I am SO glad I found this scrumptious blog 🙂


  7. LOL! I am praising you up here and you are just signing on the dotted line back at home (I just saw your “follow” 😉 ). Mutual respect ma’am, my favourite kind 🙂


    • I thought I was following you already, but clearly my brain is woollier than even I thought! Well, I am now 🙂


      • Cheers 🙂 I love that your head is stuffed with wool. What a gorgeous place for the mice to nest 🙂 Mine is crammed full of useless OH&S at the moment. The mice boycotted my mind as a bad joke barren of anything wonderful and entirely too twitchy and angsty for nesting purposes 😦


  8. gotta love those oven gloves…. 🙂


  9. Thanks for these inspirational ideas. I’ve re-blogged this great post


  10. Reblogged this on mabbsonsea and commented:
    There are some great ideas on this blog. These are particularly inspirational … and fun.


  11. Great reminders all. We need to preserve the planet for generations to come.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


  12. gentlestitches

     /  April 3, 2014

    There was a lot in that post and it was all heartening. Loved your teaching pic gotta get a bee quilt pattern and glad I somehow found your webpage. 😀


  13. We use egg cartons for seedlings, although currently they are empty and taking up space since no one is free long enough to grow things, sadly. However, old bed slats have been nailed together to make a couple of flower beds, and a couple of old drawers from a seriously dilapidated chest are sitting around our garden. Thing is, we have a LOT of stuff – I’m worried we may never run out!


  14. Excellent information and suggestions, very well presented. Everyone can make a difference, especially when offered ideas and encouragement. Thank you.


  1. Accio wand | The Snail of Happiness

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